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Part III: The Process of Grief > How The Old Pain Got There And Where It Goes

Chapter 13. How The Old Pain Got There And Where It Goes

From childhood messages that we receive from parents or other important grownups, we learn if it’s OK to say how we feel, or even if it’s OK to feel emotions at all. So many of us as children perceive that it is not OK or not safe to express how we feel. We grow up with this message and, as a result, in situations such as workplace change-loss, we push anger, hurt and fear down; we stuff it.

For example, anger should never be destructive to self or others. However, if you were told, “You have no reason or no right to be angry!” or “Get out of here or I’ll really give you something to be angry about!”, then you may be in the habit of pushing anger down. Any childhood message that tells the child that it is not OK to have feelings or to even let anyone know that you have feelings will cause accumulated unresolved anger, sadness or fear. Whenever a loss occurs and the normal thing to do is to feel and express emotion, the person who has learned that it is not OK will again stuff the feelings.


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